London Life: New Landmarks Tea & Exciting Culture in South Kensington

(The Kensington Hotel)

Home to three of London’s top museums—the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert—the neighborhood of South Kensington is sure to be included in most itineraries, which is why we were particularly thrilled to check out the new “Landmarks Tea” at The Kensington Hotel, mere blocks from the museum corridor. 

The tastiest way to learn about the iconic London landmarks, the tea takes diners on an edible tour of of the capital’s most famed structures. Tributes featured on the menu include The Gherkin, crafted from white chocolate with a dark chocolate ganache, and The Shard, made of carrot cake and milk chocolate. Alongside a London Telephone Box, imagined in rhubarb mousse, and Big Ben-inspired lemon curd tart (these were our personal favorites), the new London Landmarks Afternoon Tea menu is complete with London’s quintessential treat: Scones served with Heather Hills strawberry jam and clotted cream. So fun, everything is presented on a tea stand replica of the London Eye and guests are given a keepsake illustrated map highlighting landmarks including Kensington Palace and The Tower of London, as well as archetypal spots such as Covent Garden and Big Ben.

Before gobbling up the themed pastries, we warmed up with champagne and savory English appetizers (a cockney staple: steak and London ale pie, and a Colston bassett stilton and broccoli quiche alongside a bite-size crabcake with tartare sauce and caper-berry) and a great selection of classic sandwiches (smoked salmon, lovage pesto and cream cheese on brown bread, egg and cress bridge roll using eggs from Heritage-breed Copper Marans hens, and coronation chicken sandwich on brown loaf).

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Town House is the signature restaurant at The Kensington Hotel and is spread across three classically designed drawing rooms (think plush velvet sofas, deep Chesterfield chairs, open fireplaces and intimate nooks overlooking South Kensington’s tree-lined streets). It's truly the perfect respite after a day of sightseeing at the museums. 

Three ways to work up an appetite:

The Victoria and Albert is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects, fascinating in and of itself. Opening this week is “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” an exhibit of Dior’s iconic designs from 1947 to the present day, exploring his impact as of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers and his relationship with Britain. On display until mid-July.

The Natural History Museum is home to life and earth science specimens, comprising some 80 million items within five main collections: Botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. The dinosaur area is a favorite spot, and on now through June 30 is the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition. Now in it’s 54th year, it showcases extraordinary animal behavior and the breathtaking diversity of life on Earth.

The Science Museum, with seven floors dedicated to exploration and explanation of science and related phenomenon, is fun and educational for all ages. On now until May 6 is a special exhibition, “The Sun: Living with our Star,” a hands-on exhibit about the closest star. Top tip: Head to the Wonderlab on the top floor for 50 immersive exhibits and live (and often explosive) shows.  

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